While she demonstrates that welfare policy can be negatively affected by a powerful lobby that advocates a position not supported by public opinion, her example of the success of Kentucky unionists, blacks, and liberals in blocking tighter restrictions for Aid to Dependent Children
in the state in the 1940s demonstrates that left-wing activism can also be effective.
For example, it is not clear how beneficiaries of Aid to Dependent Children
themselves came to think of the programs that recognized their rights, and how their conceptions clashed with those of "most people," who "venerated work.
As a result, the types of jobs that black Americans did most often were excluded from the Old Age and Unemployment Insurance laws of the New Deal, and Aid to Dependent Children became a hybrid state-federal program that gave individual states the power to create racially skewed eligibility requirements.
Designers of the Aid to Dependent Children portion of the Social Security Act of 1935 wanted to build up the program's image by making sure its recipients behaved well.
From Welfare to Workfare focuses on the evolution of Aid to Dependent Children from its enactment in the original (1935) Social Security Act to its demise in the (1996) Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act.
The architects of Social Security had hoped to integrate Aid to Dependent Children (ADC), an income support program for needy mothers, into a non-categorical welfare program in the 1940s.
Moreover, African-Americans came to account for a growing proportion of the postwar welfare caseload and by 1957 42% of Aid to Dependent Children
(ADC) recipients were African-American (Bureau of Public Assistance, 1960).
Despite war-time progress, the gap between white and black incomes had continued to widen, and the numbers of black families on Aid to Dependent Children
continued to climb during the 1960s.
Aid to dependent children
(ADC), a locally run program, has, by way of contrast, followed a much more complex course.
The rise in Aid to Dependent Children
(ADC) amidst prosperity, scandalous stories of "chiseling" and other data outraged middle-class Americans.
Instead, the standing interpretation for both mothers' pensions and Aid to Dependent Children
explains these programs as policies that supported women to stay at home.
This transformation drives this gendered history of the state's response to the needs of single mothers, a history that culminates in the Aid to Dependent Children
(ADC) provisions in the Social Security Act of 1935.